Archive | November 2010

Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps

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According to research from Adobe Systems, many mobile device users appear to think browsers offer the better user experience than apps.

Mobile users polled in the study reported a preference for mobile browsers to access virtually all mobile content. Games, music and social media were the only categories in which users would rather use a downloaded app than browse the mobile Web.

Their preference for mobile browsers extended to the retail category, with users showing a strong bias toward mobile browsers for accomplishing every mobile shopping task mentioned. Whether it was researching product and price info or sharing that information socially, mobile users would rather fire up a browser than a dedicated app.

These preferences may surprise mobile experts who consider apps to offer the best content and shopping experiences. And marketers may be frustrated as well; getting an app on a user’s home screen is a constant reminder of the brand, but it doesn’t make sense to offer an app users don’t want.

“Just because you can create an app for that doesn’t mean you should,” said Nicole Perrin, a senior editor at eMarketer. “The majority of marketers are better off creating a rich mobile Web experience that gives customers the tools they need to research, browse or buy products — rather than focusing energy and resources on developing apps that consumers aren’t likely to download.”

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InSequent signs Pinpoint as white label partner

We’re pleased to announce that Pinpoint will launch their branded platform and begin selling their 8,000 advertisers right after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Pinpoint Advertising Agency is excited about the new partnership that has been forged with Insequent. This program provides us with a new, innovative mobile marketing solution that we can offer our clients to increase their traffic, revenue and ultimately their bottom line” Steve Wallack, President

“Easiest coupon service ever” – GoMo News

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Thanks to GoMo News for this fantastic writeup on our new coupon service:

“Insequent is a company that wants your business to go mobile. And it wants to do it without using a mobile app. The company has just revealed new expansions to their mobile coupon engine – which uses SMS and the mobile web to deliver mobile coupons in one of the most trouble-free ways I’ve ever seen.

What’s the story?” Read full article here – http://www.gomonews.com/sms-and-mobile-web-makes-easiest-coupon-service-ever/

Mobile coupons on the mobile web. No app required.

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Insequent has just launched version 1.1 of its mobile platform for local businesses. This version drastically expands the coupon engine so that they are now redeemable by the consumer and trackable by the merchant.

A consumer texts the merchant keyword (e.g. “zunicafe”) to 55411 and they instantly receive a link to Zuni’s mobile website. Click the Coupon button to find great deals you can redeem at the point of sale. You can also forward to your friends and share on Facebook and Twitter.

This is a great alternative to Groupon and all of its clones for a business to have total control over their deals every step of the way. Coming soon we will distribute these coupons across the entire Deal universe via XML feed.

The problem with Groupon

Groupon

Here’s the problem with Groupon. Unless you choose the “promoted” option for which you pay a 30% commission, your Coupon may as well be the proverbial tree in the forest – will anyone know about it? You are responsible for promoting it, but how?

Also, to become a promoted Groupon you need to get in line.

There is another option. Let consumers find coupons on your mobile website. How do they find your mobile website? With InSequent’s service they just text your keyword (which they see in your window, hear or see in your ads, etc). A consumer can instantly find you, find out about you, and access your coupons to become new customers.

I’m not suggesting Groupon is without its merits but there are weaknesses which other services, such as InSequent, overcome.

www.insequent.com

Dear Foursquare, Gowalla: Please Let’s Stop Pretending This Is Fun

“Pew Research reported that, despite all the hype, the use of location-based services is actually declining in America, from 5% of the online population in May to 4% last month. Forget the fabled hockey stick; that’s more like a broken pencil.

Why? Because they’re not giving us any good reason to use them. Look at their web sites. Gowalla proclaims, “Discover the extraordinary in the world around you.” Foursquare says, “Unlock your city.” To which I say: “Oh, come on“ — and it seems I speak for approximately 96% (formerly 95%) of the population. I have no interest in enlisting in a virtual scavenger hunt, or unlocking merit badges — what is this, the Cub Scouts? — or becoming the narcissistic “Mayor” of my local coffee shop. Thanks for the offer, but I’m afraid I already have some semblance of a life.”

Finally this Mayor stuff is getting called out for what it is – juvenile. I had a post on my Facebook last night saying “I just won the Mayorship of Jimmy’s Taco Shop.” All I could think was, “how pathetic that this gets you excited.”

When Yelp, MerchantCircle and others all announced they too offered Mayorships you knew this had jumped the shark.

BTW, InSequent on Monday launches mobile web-based coupons for merchants.

Starting your first company

Things you should do when you are just starting up:

– make sure you have the right team.  if you are doing a consumer web startup, you *need* someone on the team who is native web product person.  if you are doing real tech, you need someone who is true native techie.

– hire a good startup law firm (i like gunderson) and get standardized incorporation, vesting etc docs.  it’s worth it.  (but try to only pay $5K or so with promise to pay more later when you get funding etc).

– talk to everyone you can about your idea.  collect feedback, criticism, maybe garner some allies along the way (even advisors which can help build your credibility).

– if you don’t already, read all tech blogs everyday.  Techcrunch, gigaom, business insider, mashable, rww, etc.  read vc blogs like fred wilson, mark suster, and eric reis.  go back and read back articles too.

– start blogging & tweeting if you don’t already.  don’t over think this.  your blog posts don’t need to be shakespeare – just do minimal viable blogging.  document your startup adventures, thoughts on tech, respond to others blogging/tweeting – whatever.  just get out there and write.  

– go to all good startup events and talk to everyone

– how googleable are you?  if you aren’t winning the first page of google when you type in your name, that means you aren’t doing a good job building your web presence.

– try to work out of an office with other early stage startups.  good energy.

– apply to ycombinator, techstars etc.  no brainer to at least apply.

– if you don’t code, don’t try to teach yourself and code for your startup.  partner with someone who is great at it.  programming is an art & science and takes years to get good at.

– if you really want to do a startup, be ready to spend the next 5 years of your life doing it.  if you aren’t ready for that level of commitment, don’t do it.

From Chris Dixon’s Posterous. I would add one more thing: outsource whatever you can that doesn’t compromise quality.